https://www.petmd.com/news/rss en Cat Lovers Unite for a Very Unique Cat Art Show https://www.petmd.com/news/lifestyle-entertainment/cat-lovers-unite-very-unique-cat-art-show-37195  
For those thinking that the cat artwork might be second-rate or amateurish, think again. The cat art at this art show is top-notch.
 
The show will feature a slew of artists who specialize in a variety of mediums, from digital art, painting and photography to drawings, embroidery, sculptures and a mixture of the styles.  
 

 
The Cat Art Show will benefit cats and the environment. They have chosen The Ian Somerhalder Foundation as their charity beneficiary for the 2018 art show, and their closing night benefit will support Kitten Rescue LA.
 
The founder and curator of the Cat Art Show, Susan Michals, is very passionate about the event. She explains to Mashable, “They think it’s a joke. And that’s something I’ve been up against for a long time …” In no uncertain words, she explains that it’s most definitely not a joke. Michals explains that the purpose of the show is to curate a collection of art that puts the intersection of pop culture’s love of cats and the art world’s emerging creators on display.
 

 
Mashable explains that “the show feels like a real art show because it is a real art show. Over 140 pieces were on display in the gallery. A bar served frosé and IPAs, and patrons dressed in sleek (although cat-themed) outfits posed for photos at a professionally lit booth. The show's 11-day run includes a variety of cat-themed events, from a lecture on ‘famous feline history’ to a cat-themed burlesque performance by Vanessa Burgundy.”
 

 
Michals is also the founder of CatCon, a cat-themed convention that celebrates all things cats and the people that love them. She wants to create a community where cat lovers everywhere can come together and show their appreciation for felines.
 

 
Mashable explains, “The art show — and CatCon, a cat-themed convention that Michals also founded, seeks to cultivate a community for cat lovers that they wouldn't normally get in real life. Since cats are such solitary creatures, most cat owners bond online through social media.”
 

 
To learn more about the Cat Art Show you can check out their website at Catartshow.com. For more information on CatCon, go to Catconworldwide.com.
 
 
 
For more interesting news stories, check out these articles:
 
First Edition of John James Audubon’s Birds of America Book Sold for $9.65M
 
Minnesota Raccoon Captures National Attention With Daredevil Antics
 
Achilles the Cat Preparing for 2018 World Cup Predictions
 
How a Stolen Piece of Pizza Led to the Rescue of Puppies
 
The Ten Movement Spread Awareness About Feline Overpopulation With Fun, Creative Ads
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3 Top Cat and Dog Health Issues https://www.petmd.com/news/view/3-top-cat-and-dog-health-issues-37194  
Taking care of our pets, especially their health, is an important part of responsible pet ownership. Understanding the basics of some common problems affecting dog health and cat health can help you take even better care of your pets, helping them lead happy and healthy lives. Here are the top pet health issues seen by veterinarians.
 
Top 3 Dog Health Issues
 
Fleas
 
Fleas are pesky little parasites that can cause intense itching and scratching and make dogs feel miserable. Fortunately, there are many veterinarian-prescribed flea preventatives that work in different ways, such as killing fleas and interrupting their life cycle.
 
Prevent flea problems by regularly checking your dog’s fur for flea dirt (black specks that are actually flea fecal matter) and administering your chosen flea preventative as directed.
 
 
Vomiting and Diarrhea
 
Dogs vomit or have diarrhea for many reasons, including food poisoning, intestinal parasites—especially roundworms in dogs—and systemic illness (e.g., liver disease, kidney disease). Depending on the underlying cause, the vomiting and diarrhea may be mild and brief or become quite serious. If you see blood in your dog’s vomit or diarrhea, or your dog is looking really sick (weak, not eating), take them to your vet for diagnosis and treatment.
 
 
Ear Infections
 
Ear infections in dogs can be caused by such things as bacteria, yeast and allergies. Long-eared dogs and dogs that love being in the water can get recurrent ear infections. Signs of ear infections include head shaking, pawing at the ears and a foul odor from the ears. Treatment typically includes regular ear cleaning and administering topical medications in the ears.
 
 
Top 3 Cat Health Issues
 
Vomiting and Diarrhea
 
Like dogs, cats commonly experience vomiting and diarrhea. Some of the many causes of feline vomiting and diarrhea include kidney disease, food poisoning, intestinal parasites and hairballs. This gastrointestinal upset can quickly cause serious dehydration in cats. If your cat has been vomiting or has diarrhea, give them plenty of fresh water and take them to your veterinarian as quickly as possible for diagnosis and treatment.
 
 
Feline Lower Urinary Tract Disease (FLUTD)
 
FLUTD is a group of diseases affecting the bladder and urethra. Cats who are middle-aged, are overweight, eat primarily dry food and are stressed are especially susceptible to FLUTD. Symptoms include straining to urinate, urinating outside of the cat litter box and bloody urine. Treatment depends on the underlying cause and often includes behavioral changes like feeding small, frequent meals and reducing stress.
 
 
Hyperthyroidism
 
Hyperthyroidism is overactivity of the thyroid gland and is most commonly caused by a benign thyroid tumor. Common symptoms include hyperexcitability, weight loss, increased appetite, and vomiting and diarrhea. A blood test that measures thyroid hormone levels helps diagnose this condition. Treatment options include surgical removal of the affected thyroid gland, radioactive iodine treatment and antithyroid medications.
 
Of course, there are many other common cat and dog health issues, such as diabetes, arthritis and cancer. Although not all pet health issues are preventable or have an easy cure, taking your pets for regular veterinary checkups will help you ensure that they live as full and healthy a life as they can.
 
Image via Vasek Rak/Shutterstock.com
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First Edition of John James Audubon’s Birds of America Book Sold for $9.65M https://www.petmd.com/news/lifestyle-entertainment/first-edition-john-james-audubons-birds-america-book-sold-965m-37192  
There are thought to only be 13 complete sets remaining of the original first editions of the book, so when one recently went up for auction, it was sure to garner quite a bit of attention.
 
“The Birds of America” is actually a collection of four books containing 435 double-elephant folio pages, measuring 39.5 inches by 26.5 inches. That’s just over 3 feet by 2 feet. The book features 1037 birds from 500 species that inhabit North America.
 
Previously, when a first edition of the books went to auction at Sotheby’s in London in 2010, it sold for $11.5 million. On June 14, 2018, another first edition of the collection was put up for auction by Sotheby’s and sold for $9.65 million.
 
Art and bird enthusiasts alike are not surprised by the hefty price tag because the book represents more than just a careful study of birds. Sven Becker, head of books and manuscripts at Christie’s New York, explains to the Los Angeles Times, “When you look into Audubon’s own life story and the history of the publication of this book, you come to realize it’s about the American experience.”
 
The LA Times elaborates by explaining, “A self-taught artist and immigrant defies the odds to create what is now one of the most prized illustrated books in the world, worth an estimated $8 million to $12 million.”
 
The previous owner of the most recently auctioned off collection was US businessman and naturist, Carl W. Knobloch Jr., who passed away in 2016. Reuters reports, “Proceeds from the sale will benefit conservation of plants, animals and natural habitats through the work of the Knobloch Family Foundation.”
 
“The Birds of America” has proven to truly be an enduring American symbol of our natural wildlife and resilient national spirit.
 
 
Image via kenny1 / Shutterstock.com
 
 
 
For more interesting stories like this, check out these articles:
 
Minnesota Raccoon Captures National Attention With Daredevil Antics
 
Achilles the Cat Preparing for 2018 World Cup Predictions
 
How a Stolen Piece of Pizza Led to the Rescue of Puppies
 
The Ten Movement Spread Awareness About Feline Overpopulation With Fun, Creative Ads
 
YouTube Provide Scientists With Insight Into Dog Bites
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German Shepherd Spots Baseball at Bark in the Park Baseball Game https://www.petmd.com/news/lifestyle-entertainment/german-shepherd-spots-baseball-bark-park-baseball-game-37191  
During the team’s warm-up between innings, a few canine baseball fans were brought onto the field for some fun, and that’s where the mischief began.
 
While other dogs were demonstrating their obedience prowess, one German Shepherd realized that at baseball games, players are actually throwing balls around. The temptation proved too much, and the ambitious pup sprinted out to join the game. This was obviously a game of fetch, and no other pup was stepping up to the plate.
 
Luckily, the players took it in stride as the canine sports enthusiast chased after the baseballs, brought them back and then dropped them at the players’ feet.
 
They were able to regain control of the playful German Shepherd, and one of the players even rolled a baseball to the dog to keep as a memento of their national baseball debut.
 
Image via Twitter: @HaroldRKuntz3
 

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Dave’s Pet Food Voluntarily Recalls 95% Premium Beef Canned Dog Food Due to Potentially Elevated Levels of Thyroid Hormone https://www.petmd.com/news/alerts-recalls/daves-pet-food-voluntarily-recalls-95-premium-beef-canned-dog-food-due-potential Company: Dave's Pet Food
Brand Name: Dave's Pet Food
Recall Date: 6/12/2018
 
Product Names (UPCs; Date Ranges):
Dave's Pet Food 95% premium beef dog food 13 oz. (548 Cases)
(85038-11167; 08/2020)
Reason for Recall:
"Dave’s Pet Food of Agawam, MA is recalling a single lot of Dave’s Dog Food 95% premium beef cans because the products potentially contain elevated levels of beef thyroid hormone.
Product was distributed all along the east coast of the US, sold in pet stores and ecommerce sites."
 
To Read More: Dave Pet Food's Recall of Canned Dog Food
 
What to Do:
"Consumers who have purchased the specific product listed above should stop feeding it to their dogs. If consumers have questions or would like to receive a refund or coupon for replacement product, they should call us at 1-888-763-2738 Monday through Friday, between 9:00 AM and 5:00 PM EST."
 
 
Source: FDA
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Minnesota Raccoon Captures National Attention With Daredevil Antics https://www.petmd.com/news/lifestyle-entertainment/minnesota-raccoon-captures-national-attention-daredevil-antics-37187  
The raccoon had been spotted on various buildings within the city, and despite the efforts of Good Samaritans, she evaded capture and made her way to the UBS Plaza building. On June 12, she was spotted on the first floor of the building, where building management staff attempted to lure her down by creating a makeshift ladder.
 
He made a run for it! Still stuck though. pic.twitter.com/8Z7KTK8K1y
— Evan Frost (@efrostee) June 12, 2018
 
However, when raccoons are scared, their instincts tell them to get higher, and that is when she became an internet and national sensation.
 
This young raccoon began scaling the 25-story building, and people were mesmerized. The hashtag “#mprraccoon” started trending on twitter with people posting updates, memes and videos about the raccoon’s daredevil climb. The Minnesota Public Radio building, which is located next door, even used their electronic marquee to share updates on the raccoon’s activities.
 
Can confirm #MPRraccoon is still itchy. Got a little visit from @StPaulFireDept too! Cat food awaits it on the roof. pic.twitter.com/WeOTWmbaqz
— Evan Frost (@efrostee) June 12, 2018
 
Hang in there, trash panda! #mprraccoon pic.twitter.com/C8sbtLO0te
— Johnny Vince Evans (@TheJohnnyVince) June 12, 2018
 
It was a whirlwind adventure for those watching, filling people with a variety of emotions. The saga continued for over 24 hours, with the raccoon scaling down the building only to start climbing back up again.
 
But don’t worry! This story has a happy ending. The Wildlife Management Services for the city of St. Paul set traps on the top of the building that were filled with cat food. And around 2:45 a.m. on June 13, the raccoon finally reached the roof of the UBS Plaza building and entered one of the traps.
 
Wildlife Management Services officials arrived in the morning to collect the brave, young raccoon, and after a quick health check and announcement that it was a female raccoon, they deemed her healthy and released her back into the wild.
 
While her current whereabouts are unknown, she definitely left an impression on the nation. Twitter and other social media platforms are abuzz with T-shirts, artwork, greeting cards and memes commemorating the heroic raccoon’s antics. 
 
The hero we didn't know #MYSAINTPAUL needed. Farewell, #mprraccoon. Thank you for inspiring the world with your epic journey. pic.twitter.com/9xgSVmq0W3
— Visit Saint Paul (@SaintPaul) June 13, 2018
 
Image via Twitter: @donelly_law
 
 
For more interesting stories, check out these articles:
 
Five Inspiring Stories of Critically Endangered Bird Species That Were Brought Back
 
Kenny Chesney’s Foundation Brings Rescued Dogs to Florida for a Second Chance
 
Vietnam War Veterans Unveil Military Dog Memorial
 
BLM Creates ‘Online Corral’ to Help Americans Connect With Adoptable Wild Horse and Burros
 
Purebred Dogs Offer Insight in Cancer Research
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How a Stolen Piece of Pizza Led to the Rescue of Puppies https://www.petmd.com/news/petlanthropy/how-stolen-piece-pizza-led-rescue-puppies-37177  
Realizing that the stray dog must have been super hungry to walk up to a group of strangers and steal a piece of pepperoni pizza, the group of friends called the Peninsula Humane Society & SPCA. When rescuers arrived, they not only found a hungry and very scruffy little pup, but also six little puppies.
 
Buffy Martin Tarbox, a spokeswoman for the Peninsula Humane Society & SPCA, explains to Mercury News, “This poor little dog was struggling to survive on her own, eating whatever scraps of food she could find and trying to take care of her babies.” So the rescuers collected the mom and her puppies and brought them to the safety.
 
They quickly found an adoring foster parent, who decided the rescue dog and her rescue puppies all deserve regal and distinguished names. The mother dog is now named Queen Elizabeth (or Lizzy, for short), and the six puppies have been christened William, Harry, Duchess Kate, Lady Di, Charlotte and Meghan.
 
The puppies have all grown to be healthy and strong, and are currently ready for adoption. While one has already been adopted, Queen Elizabeth and the other five pizza rescue puppies are still awaiting their furever homes.
 
According to Mercury News, “Anyone interested in meeting the mom and the puppies can visit the center at 1450 Rollins Road, Burlingame or call at 650-340-7022. The shelter is open for adoptions 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Friday, and 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. on weekends. Potential adopters should arrive at least an hour before closing time to complete an adoption.”
 
Image via CBS SF
 
 
For more interesting stories, check out these articles:
 
150+ Sausage Dogs Mingle With Dog Lovers at Pop-Up Dog Cafe
 
Kenny Chesney's Foundation Brings Rescued Dogs to Florida for a Second Chance
BLM Creates 'Online Corral' to Help Americans Connect With Adoptable Wild Horses and Burros
 
12 Puppies Rescued From Chernobyl Head to the US to Start a New Life
 
Humpty Dumpty Gets Put Back Together Again: Spirit Fund Helps Fix Tortoise's Broken Shell
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Achilles the Cat Preparing for 2018 World Cup Predictions https://www.petmd.com/news/lifestyle-entertainment/achilles-cat-preparing-2018-world-cup-predictions-37176  
For the upcoming 2018 FIFA World Cup, Russia has their own soothsayer they are hoping will rival Paul’s record—Achilles, a stunning white cat with blue eyes. As Reuters reports, “The furry white feline, who lives in St Petersburg’s Hermitage museum, is being touted as a cat psychic who will predict the winners and losers of the tournament kicking off in Russia in two weeks.”
 
Achilles is actually a deaf cat. And while some may think that this is a disadvantage, his supporters believe it gives him a distinct advantage. While many other animals might get distracted by the chaotic and noisy crowds of spectators and journalists watching his predictions, Achilles can hone his cat senses without distraction while making his selections. He will make predictions by choosing between two bowls of food that each bear a team flag.
 
Reuters reports that, “For his training, Achilles, dressed in a red soccer jersey, looks at a chart of the teams and game schedules, before, slightly reluctantly, moving onto an exercise wheel.”
 
The exercise wheel is part of Achilles’ strict exercise and diet regime to get him in peak physical condition for the spotlight that is sure to shine on him during the 2018 FIFA World Cup.
 
Achilles has already established a pretty strong track record, with correct predictions during the 2017 Confederations Cup, so people believe he has what it takes to be the next big soothsayer for the FIFA World Cup.
 
Image via Reuters
 
 

Video via Facebook: SBS Australia
 
 
For more interesting stories, check out these articles:
 
The Ten Movement Spreads Awareness About Feline Overpopulation With Fun, Creative Ads
 
How One Woman Is Using Cat Puns to Explain Personal Finances
 
What Can Geckos With Backpacks and Tattoos Tell Us About Biodiversity?
 
Dinosaur Dandruff Provides Insight Into Prehistoric Evolution of Birds
 
Australian Wildlife Conservancy Builds Largest Cat-Proof Fence to Protect Endangered Species
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The Ten Movement Spreads Awareness About Feline Overpopulation With Fun, Creative Ads https://www.petmd.com/news/care-safety/ten-movement-spread-awareness-about-feline-overpopulation-fun-creative-ads-37163  
Cats are notoriously efficient breeders. According to the Ten Movement, “Cats are 30 times more prolific than humans. Whether they’re free-roaming or live indoors, cats are excellent breeders. With a gestation period of just 65 days, an intact mature female cat can produce up to three litters a year. Since maturity begins at as young as 4 months, cats are efficient kitten-makers.”
 
The result of all this indiscriminate breeding has been ever-growing overpopulation of cats. The Ten Movement says that there are around 70 million homeless cats within the United States, which is why they have made it their mission to spread awareness about the importance of cat spaying and cat neutering.
 
The Ten Movement explains on their website, “Ten is a nonprofit movement funded by The Joanie Bernard Foundation. It includes our partners: United Coalition for Animals Nonprofit Spay and Neuter Clinic (UCAN), Ohio Alleycat Resource (OAR), The League for Animal Welfare, Pets in Need, The Scratching Post, The Foundation Against Companion-Animal Euthanasia (FACE) and Shelter Outreach Services of Ohio.”
 
They have made some serious progress, too. Since 2012, they have brought the live-release rate (LRR) of shelter cats in Cincinnati up from 37 percent to 93 percent, which is really impressive.
 
Part of their success can be attributed to the unique ways in which they are getting their message out there.
 
Their first campaign to spread awareness about the importance of cat neutering and cat spaying started with a series of videos that feature Scooter, a super hip neutered cat with a message.
 

Video via YouTube
 
Their most recent campaign features a classroom full of kitties who are struggling to learn math. Their cat math skills point out that one unneutered male and one unspayed female can produce around 14 kittens, who then go on to reproduce. 
 

Video via YouTube
 
 
Image via Shutterstock
 
 
For more interesting stories, check out these articles: 
 
How One Woman Is Using Cat Puns to Explain Personal Finances
 
Kenny Chesney's Foundation Brings Rescued Dogs to Florida for a Second Chance
 
BLM Creates 'Online Corral' to Help Americans Connect With Adoptable Wild Horses and Burros
 
12 Puppies Rescued From Chernobyl Head to the US to Start a New Life
 
Humpty Dumpty Gets Put Back Together Again: Spirit Fund Helps Fix Tortoise's Broken Shell
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150+ Sausage Dogs Mingle With Dog Lovers at Pop-Up Dog Cafe https://www.petmd.com/news/lifestyle-entertainment/150-sausage-dogs-mingle-dog-lovers-pop-dog-cafe-37162  
The all-Dachshund pop-up cafe was open to Dachshunds, their owners and sausage dog lovers alike. While pet owners and other dog lovers indulged in some coffee, treats and petting all the dogs, the sausage dogs got some gourmet baked treats of their own.
 
The dogs were allowed to socialize off-leash and were also given yummy “pup-accinos,” “bark-scottis,” “woofins” and pup-cakes.
 
Over 150 Dachshunds showed up to play, snack and delight in all of the attention.
 
The event was organized by the same people who organized the pop-up Pug Cafe, and with the event being such a success, they have planned even more events all over the United Kingdom. But if you are interested in going to a pop-up dog cafe event, you’d better sign up right away because availability is limited and they book up quickly. 
 
Image via Shutterstock
 

Video via Facebook
 
For more interesting stories, check out these articles:
 
How One Woman Is Using Cat Puns to Explain Personal Finances
 
Kenny Chesney's Foundation Brings Rescued Dogs to Florida for a Second Chance
 
BLM Creates 'Online Corral' to Help Americans Connect With Adoptable Wild Horses and Burros
 
12 Puppies Rescued From Chernobyl Head to the US to Start a New Life
 
Humpty Dumpty Gets Put Back Together Again: Spirit Fund Helps Fix Tortoise's Broken Shell
 
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Tips for Responsibly Surrendering a Pet https://www.petmd.com/news/view/tips-responsibly-surrendering-pet-37161  
When actress Lena Dunham rehomed her pet dog, Lamby, there was an uproar about her decision. Surrendering a pet is an all-around heartbreaking experience. Under what circumstances should a pet be surrendered, and how exactly is the process done safely and responsibly? University of Tennessee professor and small animal behavior expert Dr. Julia Albright, DVM, MA, DACVB has this advice for pet owners who are considering surrendering a pet due to behavioral issues.
 
Things to Consider When Surrendering a Pet
 
Animals live in the present, Dr. Albright says. As a human, you understand that a foster home or pet shelter is a temporary solution, but your pet doesn’t understand that. All they know is that their favorite human and home are gone.
 
If you are considering surrendering a pet to a rescue, one thing to consider is that the most “busted” animal cruelty operations are those that started off as rescues and rehab centers, Dr. Albright says. Well-meaning people get in over their head, and the animals can suffer because the money for the operation ran out. If you are surrendering your pet to a rescue, please be a responsible owner and visit the physical location where your pet will be living before you part with your pet. Be sure to ask pointed questions about the care of the animals.
 
Most pet surrenders are due to aggression. If you are rehoming a dog or cat because of aggression, then you must disclose the behavioral history to anyone that you are relinquishing the pet to, Dr. Albright says. If you rehome the pet and the pet bites someone, you may be liable. If you take your pet to a shelter, unless it is a no-kill shelter, pets with a history of aggression are usually destroyed due to liability issues.
 
Seek Out Help From Professionals
 
If you are surrendering a pet because of other behavioral issues, such as house soiling or separation anxiety, many pet shelters and national organizations like the ASPCA have behavior hotlines or other resources. They can help pay for training and behavior and can help you sort out whether the pet has a training issue that can be solved or an emotional issue that requires different intervention, Dr. Albright says. There are about 80 board-certified veterinary behaviorists around the country, as well as knowledgeable certified applied animal behaviorists that can offer help. You can also check out good training organizations that require those who are certified to have a basic knowledge of learning theory and to continue their pet behavior education. When choosing a behaviorist, look at the letters behind their name. In addition to DACVB and CAAB, look for IAABC and CPTD-KA.   
 
Surrendering a pet is stressful to both humans and pets alike. If you are experiencing mental or emotional stress from rehoming or surrendering your pet, then seek the help of a qualified individual. There are veterinary social workers available to help you navigate the often twisted emotional path of pet surrender. 
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Why We Shouldn’t Be Hugging Cats https://www.petmd.com/news/view/why-we-shouldnt-be-hugging-cats-37160  
I’m going to risk going against popular opinion here, but I have something to say.
 
*Braces self for online trolls*
 
I think National Hug Your Cat Day is a terrible idea, because in general, cats do not like to be hugged. Oh sure—you’ve got the oddball cat that will tolerate just about anything (it’s actually a dog in disguise), but for most cats, a hug from a human is a foreign, uncomfortable feeling, and nine times out of 10, they will try to squirm out of it.
 
Perhaps it would be helpful to rewind and understand why our feline companions do not enjoy a human-cat hug in the first place.
 
Cats are not so removed from their wild(er) ancestors. Less than 100 years ago, most cats were outdoor creatures that had teamed up with humans for the benefit of a reliable food source in the form of rodents and a warm barn where they could sleep the winter blues away.
 
Then we brought cats inside, which changed everything.
 
Why Cats Don’t Like Hugs
 
Cat behavior has been evolving over the past century, and cats are now more in tune with humans than ever. But they still retain vestiges of their great, great, great, great, great grandparent’s DNA that tells them that they are both predator and prey. Feral cats hunt small rodents and bugs, but they are also hunted by larger predators that tend to swoop down on them and eat them.
 
A human swooping down for a cat hug is not much different than a predator swooping down in the wild, and it can actually invoke a stress response in a cat. Stress from a hug can activate the fight, flight or freeze response in a cat. When hugged, many felines will struggle to get loose, or may scratch or bite in their defense. If your cat is tolerating the hug and not trying to get away, don’t mistakenly assume that your cat loves what you are doing. Your cat may be freezing in response to fear. The bottom line is that most cats don’t like being hugged by a human—or anybody else for that matter.
 
If you have been going around hugging cats, there is no judgement here. If you still want to hug your cat, then I recommend making sure that your cat isn’t stressed by the act. Follow these simple steps to embrace your cat properly.
 
Signs Your Cat Doesn’t Like a Hug
 
Signs that your cat may be stressed from a hug can be obvious and can include trying to get away, swishing the tail, having dilated pupils, hissing, scratching, growling or freezing. Other signs of stress, such as urinating or defecating outside the cat litter box, diarrhea, straining to urinate in the litter box, excessive vocalization or hiding are less obvious, but are still signs of stress in cats. I cannot say this enough: if your cat doesn’t like hugs, Don’t. Hug. Your. Cat.
 
How to Hug Cats That Don’t Show Signs of Stress
 
If you want to hug your cat, and your cat doesn’t show any signs of stress from the interaction, then you want to do it right, which means hugging cats on their own terms. You never, ever want to sneak up on or swoop in on your cat—that will stress and scare your cat. Let your cat come to you and sit in your lap. Talk to your cat and gently pet your cat in her favorite spot—under the chin is a great choice. If your cat is calm and happy (purring is a bonus!), then gently put your arms loosely around her. If your cat stays calm and happy, then you are golden. Don’t hold your cat tightly, and if your cat shows any signs of stress or wants to get away, then let her go.
 
Now, you may be sitting there thinking, “Dr. Wooten, that isn’t true! My cat loves being hugged!” As I said, there are exceptions to the rule, but I can’t support having a whole day dedicated to a practice that stresses nine out of 10 cats out. We should be calling it “National Do Something Nice for Your Cat Day.” Instead of hugging cats (which they don’t like), we should create more vertical space, offer them some cat treats, invest in a new cat tree or some cat puzzle toys that you fill with cat food, or take them for checkups to have possible (and painful) dental disease treated. Now THOSE are certainly better ways to show your cat affection.


 


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How One Woman Is Using Cat Puns to Explain Personal Finances https://www.petmd.com/news/lifestyle-entertainment/how-one-woman-using-cat-puns-explain-personal-finances-37159  
One woman in Portland took notice of the lack of user-friendly financial guidance—especially for younger millennials who may not be completely broke but are also not flush with cash. To help fill the void in money management guidance and to make it more digestible, Lillian Karabaic has created a personal finance workbook and tutorial that is filled entertaining cat puns, analogies and illustrations.
 
It’s called, “Get Your Money Together: your purr-fect finance workbook.” Karabaic explains on her Kickstarter, “Most personal finance is boring, stressful, and quite frankly, has far too few cats. There's a lot of resources out there for learning about personal finance, but most of them don't take into account the way many of us work these days: variable income, side hustles, and no access to things like a 401K.”
 
The workbook is designed to make personal finances more approachable while also making the topic fun and entertaining. Chapter titles in the book are littered with cat puns and references like “Purr-fecting the Budget,” “The Financial Litterbox,” “Credit, The American Laser Pointer Chase” and “Building Your Cat Tower (Mortgages).” She uses fun metaphors and illustrations to make learning about money management easier. It’s not just for those who are not mathematically inclined, but also for anyone who is intimidated by trying to figure out how to financially plan when they don’t follow the cookie-cutter mold of living the American dream.
 
As Karabaic explains, “Get Your Money Together's secret weapon is approachability—I understand that most of this money stuff has more to do with anxiety, stress, shame, or just confusion about what to do. Instead of overwhelm, I have made clear tools for you to make a plan for your future—with plenty of cats!”
 
Who wouldn’t want to learn how to be fiscally responsible through cat illustrations and cat puns?
 
Image via Shutterstock
 
 
 
For more interesting stores, check out these articles:
 
What Can Geckos With Backpacks and Tattoos Tell Us About Biodiversity?
 
Dinosaur Dandruff Provides Insight Into Prehistoric Evolution of Birds
 
Australian Wildlife Conservancy Builds Largest Cat-Proof Fence to Protect Endangered Species
 
Rescue Turns Stray and Feral Cats Into Working Cats
 
Crocodiles and Bach: An Unexpected Match
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How to Relieve Pet Travel Anxiety https://www.petmd.com/news/view/how-relieve-pet-travel-anxiety-37157  
One of the more popular American pastimes as the weather gets warmer is to go on a road trip.  As more shops, hotels and outdoor cafes become pet-friendly, pets parents are more inclined to bring their furry sidekicks along for the ride. Whether you are taking your dog on a fun-filled road trip or traveling with your cat in a family move, pet owners can do several things to make pet travel easier for themselves and their pets.
 
Here are a few pet travel tips to help reduce anxiety while you are traveling with dogs and cats:
 
Help Them Enjoy Their Pet Travel Carrier
 
For small to medium size pets, use a travel crate or small pet carrier for increased safety and security during the car ride. The dog carrier or cat carrier should be large enough so that your pet can lie down comfortably. 
 
Before hitting the road, you should help your pet create a positive association with their travel crate. Through the use of tasty cat treats or dog treats, we can teach our pets that the carrier is a wonderful spot for snack time or a peaceful place to rest.
 
Bring out the carrier as soon as you start planning your trip. Keep the door open and place a nice cozy bed or sleeping pad in the carrier. You can scatter plenty of yummy dog or cat treats around the outside of the carrier, make a treat trail leading into the carrier, and place a jackpot of treats at the far end of the carrier. Mix up what you put in the carrier every day to keep them coming back to investigate.
 
For a cat, it may be some tasty bonito flakes, or a new toy filled with catnip. For a dog, it may be a new ball or tasty chew. We want your pet to love going into the carrier.
 
Once your pet willingly goes into the carrier, offer them a long-lasting treat. Dog interactive toys or a cat treat toy will keep your pet engaged and entertained while you slowly close the carrier.  Start with short periods of time with the door closed, and gradually build up to longer periods of time with the door closed. 
 
Take Practice Trips to Ensure Your Pet Travels Well
 
Take short trips in the car while your pet is enjoying a tasty treat in the carrier. You can open the window to allow fresh air and interesting smells to enter the car. Your pet’s comfort is paramount, so if you they do not seem to be enjoying the breeze, it might be best to keep the air conditioning on and the windows closed.
 
Some pets may enjoy looking out the window, while the scenery may cause anxiety in others. If you provide your pet a view and he does not appear to show interest in looking out the window, then turn the carrier to face forward and cover your pet’s view with a towel. Always make sure they are getting enough airflow.
 
Try Using Dog and Cat Calming Products or Supplements
 
An anxious dog or cat may respond well to pheromone dog and cat calming products that use synthetic pheromones to help them feel safe and secure, like Adaptil for dogs and Feliway Classic travel spray for cats.
 
Research has shown that some people and pets respond well to the smell of lavender. Lavender-infused cotton balls can be placed in a plastic bag. Once the bag is open, it will diffuse through the car. Do not apply the lavender oil directly onto your pet. Absorption of the lavender oil through the skin or ingesting the oil by licking the oil off their fur can be toxic to your pet.
 
Several studies have indicated that certain types of music, such as classical music and reggae can calm an anxious dog. Some dogs also exhibited reduced signs of anxiety in response to listening to audiobooks.
 
Potty and Travel Breaks Are Important
 
While it may not allow you to reach your destination in the shortest time possible, taking frequent breaks may be helpful to reduce anxiety.
 
It is also best to avoid taking long winding roads at breakneck speeds to reduce the possibility of inducing nausea in your pet.
 
If your pet suffers from motion sickness, please talk to your veterinarian about anti-nausea medication they can prescribe. For pets with higher degree of travel anxiety, you can speak with your veterinarian about the use of anti-anxiety medication. If your pet truly is miserable during the car ride, you may need to reconsider your plans for traveling with dogs or cats and leave your pet at home.
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YouTube Videos Give Scientists Insight Into Dog Bites https://www.petmd.com/news/care-safety/youtube-videos-give-scientists-insight-dog-bites-37155  
Researchers at the University of Liverpool explain in a 2018 study that gathering evidence and information about dog bites has proven difficult for scientists. “Dog bites cannot be studied experimentally as exposing a volunteer to a bite or provoking a dog to bite would be unethical. As bite incidents are relatively rare, collecting data through real-time observations is not feasible. Therefore, dog bite data is gathered through general population surveys … veterinary caseloads … hospital admissions … and interviews with dog bite victims.” 
 
Since understanding the human-dog interactions that happen before, during and after an instance of dog aggression are essential to the prevention of dog bites, scientists have had to become resourceful.
 
And that is where YouTube comes in.
 
By searching the terms “dog bites” and “dog attack,” the researchers were able to access 100s of videos that document instances of dog aggression. This offered the researches the perfect opportunity to gather more evidence and information about the factors that lead to dog bites. 
 
Owczarczak-Garstecka et al. explain, “YouTube provides a chance to observe the interactions leading to a bite directly, in a naturalistic context. This is important as bite education strategies are often structured around the ladder of aggression. This theory proposes that dog behaviours before a bite escalate gradually (in the time immediately before the bite or over the years), with some behaviours (like lip licking or head turning), being shown earlier in time than other behaviours,” such as growling or baring the teeth.
 
Although YouTube videos have limitations on their usefulness—due to the inability to truly assess the severity of a bite, and that the angle in which a video was recorded can limit visibility—they have proven to be a valuable resource in the scientific development of more effective bite education strategies. These YouTube videos allow scientists to watch the human-dog interactions that result in a dog bite in their entirety in a naturalistic setting. This enables them to watch the dog behaviors leading up to, during and after the bite occurs, so they can better understand how a dog communicates fear, stress and aggression, and what humans do to escalate the situation into a dog bite.
 
Now that scientists can see the dog behaviors that surround a dog bite event, they can begin to dig deeper into the role that humans play. ScienceDaily explains, “Future research plans to better understand people's behaviour around dogs and their perceptions of dog bites include a series of interviews with dog owners, people who work around dogs and bite recipients.” This way they can create a comprehensive understanding of dog aggression behaviors that can help to prevent dog bites.
 
Image via Shutterstock
 
For more interesting stories, check out these links:
 
Crocodiles and Bach: An Unexpected Match
 
Increasing Populations of Male Snapping Turtles Linked to Mercury Pollution
 
Study Finds That Horses Can Identify and Recall Human Facial Expressions
 
Dinosaur Dandruff Provides Insight Into Prehistoric Evolution of Birds
 
Australian Wildlife Conservancy Builds Largest Cat-Proof Fence to Protect Endangered Species
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Can Science Save the Northern White Rhinoceros From Extinction? https://www.petmd.com/news/health-science/can-science-save-northern-white-rhinoceros-extinction-37154  
When the last male northern white rhinoceros passed away, many believed that extinction was imminent for the critically endangered animals. However, science is offering a viable means for reviving the population.
 
Tech Times reports that Oliver Ryder, director of conservation genetics at San Diego Zoo Global, and his colleagues are confident that they can help revive the northern white rhinoceros species using assisted reproduction or advanced cloning technologies.
 
A 2018 study was published that further supports Ryder’s plan. The study explains, “Its extinction would appear inevitable, but the development of advanced cell and reproductive technologies such as cloning by nuclear transfer and the artificial production of gametes via stem cells differentiation offer a second chance for its survival.”
 
The San Diego Zoo Frozen Zoo has actually collected and banked fibroblast cell lines from 12 northern white rhinoceros over the past 30 years. The study explains, “These cells correspond to the remaining living genetic material of the NWR, and as proposed by Saragusty et al. (2016) could be used for its genetic rescue.”
 
While these genetic technological advances offer some hope for the virtually extinct northern white rhinoceros, there are still some concerns. One of the biggest ones is that even if they do revive the population, they became endangered due to habitat destruction and poaching, which are still ongoing concerns. That means that any resulting offspring would have to be raised in captivity.
 
As Tech Times reports, “Jason Gilchrist, an ecologist at Edinburgh Napier University in Scotland, was cautious about reviving a species that could no longer live in their natural habitat. In the case of the Northern White Rhino, illegal poaching activities in Africa were a big factor in their extinction. Gilchrist could not see the point of resurrecting their population if the entire species would merely stay in captivity.”
 
With poaching still being a very real, and very serious concern, the result puts wildlife conservationists in a bit of a catch-22. Do we save a virtually extinct species through the use of science only for them to remain in captivity?
 
The preservation of the northern white rhinoceros is paramount, but it is clear that is it a multipronged problem that is going to require a thorough and comprehensive management plan to ensure the humane survival of the species.
 
Image via Shutterstock
 
For more interesting stories, check out these links:
 
Crocodiles and Bach: An Unexpected Match
 
Increasing Populations of Male Snapping Turtles Linked to Mercury Pollution
 
Study Finds That Horses Can Identify and Recall Human Facial Expressions
 
Dinosaur Dandruff Provides Insight Into Prehistoric Evolution of Birds
 
Australian Wildlife Conservancy Builds Largest Cat-Proof Fence to Protect Endangered Species
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What Can Geckos With Backpacks and Tattoos Tell Us About Biodiversity? https://www.petmd.com/news/health-science/what-can-geckos-backpacks-and-tattoos-tell-us-about-biodiversity-37139  
The Lyons’ family, who manage the 57,000-acre property of Wambiana, have opened up their Brahman cattle ranch to ecologists to study the effects of cattle grazing on the ecosystems and biodiversity of the cattle grazing lands.
 
To study the correlation between cattle grazing and biodiversity, ecologist Dr. Eric Nordberg from James Cook University has created a rather unique and innovative approach. His team of ecologists track, catch and equip arboreal reptiles—specifically the native house gecko, northern velvet gecko and Eastern spiny-tailed gecko—with GPS backpacks and fluorescent, elastomer tattoos.
 
The tattoos allow Dr. Nordberg and the ecologists to easily identify individual geckos, while the GPS transmitter backpacks allow them to track their movements and find their preferred habitats. The main result of their studies has been that the relationship between cattle grazing and biodiversity is complicated. As Dr. Nordberg explains to ABC News, “It doesn't necessarily have to be this binary response where what's good for the industry is bad for wildlife conservation and vice versa.”
 
While the smallest gecko species—the native house gecko—has actually seen an increase in their population, the Eastern spiny-tailed gecko has seen a decrease in their populations. This can be attributed to the fact that the house gecko is more of tree-dweller, while the spiny-tailed gecko prefers shrubberies, so they are more likely to be affected by cattle grazing. The largest of the geckos—Northern velvet gecko—has seen little to no changes in their movement patterns or populations. Dr. Nordberg attributes this to their size and the fact that they can be a bit of a bully when it comes to claiming territory and hunting grounds.
 
The study has shown them that the relationship between cattle grazing and biodiversity is ever-changing and not clear cut. There are species that will benefit from the changes in the ecosystem and others that will not. And these benefits or hindrances will evolve over time and can turn into the exact opposite.
 
The main takeaway that both parties have from these ongoing studies is that there needs to be communication between wildlife conservation and the cattle grazing industry to create a balanced and manageable interaction.
 
Image via Shutterstock
 
For more interesting stories, check out these links:
 
Crocodiles and Bach: An Unexpected Match
 
Increasing Populations of Male Snapping Turtles Linked to Mercury Pollution
 
Study Finds That Horses Can Identify and Recall Human Facial Expressions
 
Dinosaur Dandruff Provides Insight Into Prehistoric Evolution of Birds
 
Australian Wildlife Conservancy Builds Largest Cat-Proof Fence to Protect Endangered Species
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Australian Wildlife Conservancy Builds Largest Cat-Proof Fence to Protect Endangered Species https://www.petmd.com/news/strange-but-true/australian-wildlife-conservancy-builds-largest-cat-proof-fence-protect-endange  
The cornerstone of this massive wildlife conservation effort is the construction of a 27.3-mile-long cat-proof fence. The fence has been designed to keep feral cats out, so that the AWC can focus on the conservation and rehabilitation of endangered and threatened species that inhabit the area.
 
In a recent press release from the AWC, they explain, “Completion of the fence is a critical step in establishing an initial feral predator-free area of 9,390 hectares. This will be the largest cat-free area on mainland Australia. Covering a diversity of habitats ranging from spectacular quartzite ranges through to rich spinifex sandplains, this feral-free area will deliver a substantial increase in the population of at least 11 nationally threatened mammal species.”
 
The AWC emphasizes the threat that feral cats pose to indigenous species, saying, “Across Australia, feral cats kill millions of native animals every night. Cats and foxes are the primary reason why Australia has the worst mammal extinction rate in the world.”
 
So now that the fence is completed, their next task is to remove the feral cat populations from within the area. To do this, they have enlisted the help of the AWC’s Newhaven Warlpiri Rangers, who “bring a unique set of skills to this task—they are among the best cat trackers in Australia.”
 
The rangers have already removed over 60 feral cats from around and within the fenced sanctuary. The AWC explains, “Our aim is to remove all feral cats and foxes, and reduce rabbit numbers to insignificant levels, before the end of 2018.”
 
Once the feral cats and foxes have been removed, the AWC will initiate wildlife conservation projects within the cat-proof fence sanctuary to help rebuild threatened species populations from all over Australia. They explain, “The AWC science team is preparing to undertake the largest threatened mammal translocation project in Australian history—the reintroduction to Newhaven of at least 10 threatened mammals which have become regionally extinct.”
 

Newhaven Wildlife Sanctuary on ABC Landline
In case you missed it last week, ABC Landline featured our Newhaven Wildlife Sanctuary, where we are building the world's longest feral cat-proof fence. This feral-free area in Central Australia will deliver a substantial increase in the population of at least 11 nationally threatened mammal species. You can watch the full story here. Learn more about our Newhaven Wildlife Sanctuary: https://bit.ly/2s72p0Q
Posted by Australian Wildlife Conservancy on Tuesday, May 29, 2018

 
 
For more interesting stories, check out these articles:
 
Five Inspiring Stories of Critically Endangered Bird Species That Were Brought Back
 
Kenny Chesney’s Foundation Brings Rescued Dogs to Florida for a Second Chance
 
Vietnam War Veterans Unveil Military Dog Memorial
 
BLM Creates ‘Online Corral’ to Help Americans Connect With Adoptable Wild Horse and Burros
 
Purebred Dogs Offer Insight in Cancer Research
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Dinosaur Dandruff Provides Insight Into Prehistoric Evolution of Birds https://www.petmd.com/news/health-science/dinosaur-dandruff-provides-insight-prehistoric-evolution-birds-37134  
That’s right, prehistoric dinosaurs dealt with dandruff, too.
 
To figure this out, scientists analyzed 125-million-year-old flakes found in fossils of feathered dinosaurs from the Cretaceous period (approximately 145.5 million years ago to 66 million years ago).
 
Lead author of the study, Dr. Maria McNamara from University College Cork, explains to BBC News, “We were originally interested in studying the feathers, and when we were looking at the feathers, we kept finding these little white blobs, the stuff was everywhere, it was in between all the feathers.”
 
She goes on to say, “We started wondering if it was a biological feature like fragments of shells, or reptile skin, but it's not consistent with any of those things. The only option left was that it was fragments of the skin that were preserved, and it's identical in structure to the outer part of the skin in modern birds—what we would call dandruff.”
 
This was an exciting development in the study of the evolution of birds because it suggests that during the evolutionary burst in feathered dinosaurs in the Jurassic period, dandruff emerged in response to the presence of feathers.
 
Co-author and professor, Mike Benton, from the University of Bristol explains to BBC News that the presence of dandruff means that feathered dinosaurs are closer to modern birds than they are to reptiles. This is because they shed their skin in small fragments as opposed to whole skin layers like a modern lizard or snake.
 
The study does identify that one key difference between these prehistoric species and modern birds was the ability to fly. BBC News explains, “The researchers say that modern birds have very fatty dandruff cells because this helps them shed heat when they are flying. The older creatures weren't able to fly at all or were only able to get off the ground for short periods.”
 
This also highlights a key transition period in the evolution of birds. Dr. McNamara explains to BBC News, “So that suggests they had lower body temperatures than modern birds, almost like a transitional metabolism between a cold-blooded reptile and a warm-blooded bird.”
 
Image via Shutterstock
 
 
 
To read more inspiring animal stories, check out these articles:
 
Crocodiles and Bach: An Unexpected Match
 
Increasing Populations of Male Snapping Turtles Linked to Mercury Pollution
 
Study Finds That Horses Can Identify and Recall Human Facial Expressions
 
Five Inspiring Stories of Critically Endangered Bird Species That Were Brought Back
 
12 Puppies Rescued From Chernobyl Head to the US to Start a New Life
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Canine Cancer Vaccines: What Are They and What Do They Do? https://www.petmd.com/news/view/canine-cancer-vaccines-what-are-they-and-what-do-they-do-37133  
If your pet has recently been diagnosed with a canine cancer, you have probably been doing your own research about the array of treatment options available. Through your research, you may have come across cancer vaccines for dogs either in the literature or online. The goal of this article is to help you better understand cancer vaccines and give you, the pet owner, some basic information prior to your appointment with your oncologist.
 
What Are Cancer Vaccines?
           
Cancer vaccines come in many forms, many of which are still at their preliminary stage of development. There have been vaccines developed for melanoma and osteosarcoma (bone cancer) as well as specific antibodies (protein complexes that recognize and help the immune system target specific markers) targeted against canine lymphoma. The field of immunotherapy in treating cancers has been thoroughly investigated and continues to be an exciting field in human medicine. It is also gaining tremendous popularity in treating canine cancers.
 
If you think about it, the basic mechanism of stimulating and allowing your own body to recognize a cancer cell as a foreign intruder makes inherent sense. The problem is, mechanisms that work in a cell culture environment/lab setting may not necessarily work in a clinical setting or in an actual patient with cancer.
           
Cancer cells are very smart and have many mechanisms by which they evade the immune system. These mechanisms help them prevent themselves from being recognized as “foreign” and being destroyed. Therefore, the goal of the cancer vaccine is to override those mechanisms and give the immune system a specific target. This may or may not be combined with standard chemotherapies to provide the best long-term control and quality of life.  
 
What Vaccines for Dogs Are Out There?
           
Vaccines and antibodies specific to certain types of cancers in pets have been developed. There are more widely available vaccines for people; however, there is increasing demand and research in the veterinary field. This translational approach to studying cancer vaccines—and how the immune system plays a role in cancer—has been imperative for many of the advancements we are starting to see in cancer care as a whole. Both melanoma and, most recently, osteosarcoma have specific vaccines developed for those types of cancer. You should discuss the melanoma vaccine with your oncologist to see whether it has a role in cancer control for your pet. 
 
An osteosarcoma dog vaccine is currently still being studied, but commercial production is likely to be pursued shortly. A clinical trial is available for eligible pet patients with osteosarcoma at multiple institutions across the United States as well as a veterinary school in Canada.
 
Is There Any Data?
 
There have been journal articles published for both the melanoma vaccine and the recently developed osteosarcoma vaccine. The osteosarcoma dog vaccine uses an inactivated (i.e., not pathogenic) version of a Listeria bacterium. The bacteria within the vaccine has had a protein that is found on some canine osteosarcomas artificially inserted. By stimulating the immune system to the protein presented by this bacterium, cancer cells may be destroyed.
 
In a study conducted by the University of Pennsylvania, 18 dogs who received the vaccine showed promising results. The vaccine was overall quite safe, and dogs lived significantly longer than historical controls. A larger study is currently underway through the comparative oncology trials consortium (COTC) and may be available at an institution near you. First, you would need to have a discussion with your local veterinarian or oncologist.
           
The melanoma vaccine has showed some promise, and initial studies were very promising; clinically, your oncologist should ensure that your pet is the right candidate for the vaccine. 
 
How Do I Get My Pet Treated?
 
Any treatment discussions should be done with your veterinary oncologist. Depending on the practice or institution, canine cancer vaccine availability may be limited, and there are still standard of care options for which rigorous data has been presented. These will also be discussed with you by your oncologist.
 
The outlook for cancer vaccines and cancer immunotherapy is exciting and appears to hold promising results. We as clinicians—and many of you as pet owners—continue to be optimistic and hope that the available clinical trials will help advance and accelerate cancer care for both pets and humans.
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